- Even very talented people make mistakes: the writers of "'Allo 'Allo" and "Are You Being Served", among other shows, also created what some people consider the worst British sitcom of all time, starring the talented Mollie Sugden and taking place on a space station. Here's an episode.
- A relaxed Geman man shows you how to use to some free synthesizer software.
- The computer pictured above is an analogue computer from 1960, which was basically a fancy graphing calculator for engineers. Here is a marketing brochure that diagrams the relevant circuits.
- I recently saw a meme about coloured toilet paper, something I only have a very vague memory of, as it was already going out of style when I was a small child. Here's an blog post about colour in that era.
- Josh Reads was on fire this week.
- I stopped watching the Simpsons around twenty years ago but apparently, not long ago, there was a Simpsons scene so offensive that Youtube gave it a warning. Compared to some of the extremist political videos Youtube has recommended me for no reason, this is pretty mild.
- Speaking of sitcomish cartoons, this excellent song has been in my head for two weeks.
The first few episodes are a lot more frantic and funny than the show later became. It's very good but probably couldn't have kept that pace up for very long. As it goes on it settles into the more familiar above-averageness that we all know and love.
- When it started out, it was a US Office clone. Now it's more like a sweeter Newsradio with character development.
- Superstore has always had a political undertone beneath the wacky workplace comedy. They ramp that up this year, with some episodes occasionally dropping five years of character development to make a particular point or a particular joke. It doesn't happen often but it bugs me when it does.
- Most of it is excellent, but there are more filler episodes than normal. So far, even-numbered seasons have been the best, so I'm holding out hope for Season 6, in spite of the lead character's departure.
A return to form after a slightly weaker season 3. I'm starting to think superstore seasons are like old Star Trek movies: the even-numbered ones are best.
That being said, skip the quinceañera episode. It makes Scott's Tots feel like a day at the spa.
This felt toned down compared to season two, except for a few standouts. Still good, though.
I recently binged all of Superstore and it is a very good show, but one that's had a lot of ups and downs. Season 2 is definitely one of the high points and about as good as a sitcom gets. There's frantic humour, not too self-serious but not too frivolous, great characters (this is where Sandra more-or-less becomes a regular) and, most importantly, a complex network of running jokes and story arcs that all end up paying off. The last episode was risky and excellent. This season alone is enough to make Superstore one of the great sitcoms of all time.
It's nice to see a good new series find its footing. It starts off as a bit of a US Office clone (by someone who was involved in the US Office, somehow), but the Pam is the main character, the Michael is a Kid in the Hall, the Dwight is funnier and less of a cartoon. Most importantly, the show is more consistently comfortable with how lame the Jim is.
By the end of the season, it had almost completely shed its roots and found its own voice. I know I'm going to end up binging it, because there's at least two or three belly laughs an episode, and its pretty charming. It's five years old, why have I not heard of it till now?
Dot Com clip reel. Great impression of a guy who suck sucks, Dot Com.
An NBC sitcom about a divorced psychologist who moves to the Pacific Northwest to start a radio call-in show? Obviously that's Hello Larry, staring the dead guy from M*A*S*H and Monty Hall's weirdly charismatic daughter.
Good news and bad news. 'Reno 911!' is coming back. With the best version of the cast. And the trailer is good. But it's coming to yet another new subscription streaming service, which looks otherwise full of shows that I would not watch in a million billion years. I would pay $6.99 a month not to have to watch these shows.
Interesting article on the appeal of Leave It To Beaver.
- Remember when Rosanne got Tom Arnold his own show? A very tongue-in-cheek ad for the show, followed by Stephen King advertising the new Dark Tower book.
- A Tumblr entirely dedicated to anti-Riker memes. Reading it through, I get the feeling that the maintainer doesn't actually hate Riker at all!
- On a related note, what are the chances that the new Picard show's secret plot twist is time travel and/or time travelling into the other timeline's past? Star Trek's last non-prequel was eighteen years ago and they've now got countless prequels-to-prequels. They seem pretty committed to being prequel-only at this point.
- In my opinion, the greatest - or at least greatest looking - web comic of all time is A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible, which was active in the 00s. The illustrator later did the artwork for the game Braid.
- Some extremely brave scientists in India blog about researching King Cobra nests.
- The Ten C Commandments. Not to be confused with the Biggie Smalls song.
I imagine that at most meetings that happen at HBO, someone ends up writing "Darker and Edgier" on a whiteboard, and then underlines in three or four times for emphasis, and then says, "Did you even read my email? I asked for darker and edgier."
This is the most overrated show of all time. The first season was okay, except the by-the-numbers mafia plot and that characters were mostly stolen from things Scorsese and others had done years or decades earlier.
After season one's story arc, about a quarter of the episodes were bottom-tier soap opera, and three quarters were gimmicky one-offs ("Imagine a mafioso at an X! What a incongruous situation for a mobster to be in lol!!"). Imagine Mr. Ed but instead of a horse it's a psychologist and instead of Wilbur it's a bunch of characters stolen from much better stories. That's being generous to the Sopranos. Once in a while, Mr. Ed's jokes would actually land.
Even worse than the show was the theme song, which is the bottom of the barrel of white guys ripping of old blues. It's the soundtrack to the life of a middle manager who wears jean jackets and flannel on casual Fridays, and has a blonde ponytail, and snorts coke, and asks you to recommend him an ashram as a thinly-veiled pretence for recommending you his favourite ashram. He says he likes the song because it reminds him of how he likes to live his life: intensely.
Not bad, but, unless you're already a fan, jump to season two. Or just watch the last episode if you're not sure. The romance subplot was awful, but they picked up the fumble later on.
Great cast. Sometimes everything comes together and works but, most of the time, it varies weirdly between cringey, hilarious, boring, touching, and cheesy. I admire the effort (A+), but I'd have rather not wasted my time.
When this show started, it was supposed to be a serious drama disguised as sitcom. Then it became a wacky, nothing-special sitcom because watching people teetering on the edge of starvation is exhausting but watching a funny twenty-minute show at the end of a hard day is nice.
Norman Lear sitcoms are sometimes emotionally poignant, and they often try to prove a point in a preaching-to-the-choir way. But they're almost never entertaining.